Early Voting, My Testimony On HB5399, CGTC Fund Grant Deadline Is Friday

March 13, 2024

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Dear Neighbor,

One of the challenges of any session as a legislator is keeping track of the bills you have either asked to be brought forward or are championing with colleagues at the same time that you are shepherding a committee as chair and also trying to be a good member of your other committees. These past few weeks have really illustrated that for me.
This week, I’m including both an exchange as Chair of Planning and Development and my testimony before the Public Safety Committee. The first was an exchange with a law enforcement officer from the Town of Stratford as we discussed the possibility of towns providing pensions to law enforcement officers. The second piece is the testimony I shared on the bill that came out of the experience of a constituent who came forward to report a sexual assault and was incorrectly accused of filing a false police report.
With our first instance of early voting around the corner, I’ve also included information to help answer the questions you may have. I continue to advocate for more funding for the Secretary of State to do the very best job that we can around all voting.
Finally, yesterday was Equal Pay Day and if you’re not clear on what that is or how many equal pay days throughout the year, you’ll find more information on that below.
Have a wonderful week,

Early voting options are now available thanks to the work of the Connecticut General Assembly last session, and later this month, voters in the state will take to the polls to vote in the 2024 presidential primary.

This legislation was made possible by a state Constitutional amendment approved by a wide majority of Connecticut voters in 2022. It will provide you - and voters across the state - with more flexibility and access to cast your vote with the confidence that your voice is heard and your civic duty is fulfilled while avoiding large crowds and scheduling conflicts.

Anticipating that you may have questions about this new process, I hope the guide below will help provide information to answer them.

Here's what you need to know:

When is early voting?

For the April 2 presidential preference primary election, early voting will take place from 10am-6pm on March 26, 27, 28, and 30. Due to Good Friday and Easter, there will be no early voting Friday, March 29 or Sunday, March 31.

Early voting for the August 13 primary elections will take place between August 5 and August 11.

Early voting for the November 5 general election will take place between October 21 to November 3.

Is my early voting location the same as my regular voting location?

Not necessarily. Each town will have at least one early voting location, and municipalities with a population of 20,000 or more will have the opportunity to add additional locations. You can find your early voting location on your municipality's website, at

MyVote.ct.gov, or by calling 860-509-6200.
Are there deadlines to be aware of?

Monday, March 25 at noon is the deadline to register with a political party to vote in the early voting period for the presidential preference primary.

Monday, April 1 at noon is the deadline for registering in person with your registrar of voters or town clerk to vote on April 2, and for unaffiliated voters to enroll in a party for in-person voting.

If you are not yet registered to vote, file your registration application with your town's registrar of voters by noon on the business day before the day you want to vote, or

click here to register.

Voting is one of our country's most privileged and fundamental rights, and your participation is crucial in shaping the future. Let’s amplify the impact of our collective voice – start voting early!

Please don't hesitate to reach out to my office with any further questions on this new and exciting initiative!

I testified last week in the Public Safety Committee on HB5399 AAC THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE RESPONSE TO VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT. This is the bill I proposed with Representatives Farrar and Gilchrest to ensure that survivors are met with trauma-informed practices when they come forward to report their assault to the police.
I am grateful, especially, to Avon’s Chief Melanson for his leadership behind the scenes on the working group that is actively looking at model policy for the situations found in the Netflix documentary Victim/Suspect and in the Reveal podcast, from “Victim to Suspect.” I highly recommend both to understand the issues women face when coming forward.
The 2024 legislative session is moving fast. It ends May 8th. If you're passionate about an issue and want to make your voice heard, I encourage you to register to speak at a public hearing. Please click on the image below to access the bulletin for more details.
Last week in the Planning and Development Committee, we heard SB 334 AA REQUIRING PENSIONS FOR POLICE AND FIREFIGHTERS EMPLOYED BY MUNICIPALITIES. There was testimony both for and against, and I wanted to share a portion of testimony by the Stratford police department on their difficulties recruiting and retaining officers because some towns and cities provide pensions and some do not. Please click on the video below to hear my comments.
One of the most striking facts related in the hearing is that, on average, police officers have a life span that is 20 years shorter compared to civilians. They also have a much higher rate of taking their own lives. The stress of the job combined with the danger can be challenging for firefighters as well and they also have shorter lifespans and in addition, are required to wear clothing bathed in PFAS the “forever chemicals” that are known carcinogens.
Currently, there is negotiation underway for police and firefighters to join the CMERS plan that many municipalities utilize. I know that both the unions and the Comptrollers office are having productive conversations and perhaps leveling the playing field with that program will help stem the tide of officers and firefighters leaving one town for another.
Yesterday was Equal Pay Day, the day used to highlight how far into the year (white) women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year (see info below on the days for Black, Hispanic, and Native women). While we’ve taken to ensure equal pay and pay transparency in Connecticut, we need to go further.
The wage gap contributes to the long-term economic insecurity of women and families. By earning only 84 cents for every $1 a man makes, full-time, year-round working women lose at least $400k throughout their careers. We need equal pay now!
Many women piece together part-time, seasonal, and gig work to make ends meet. Factoring in these jobs and full-time work, the average woman is paid 77 cents per $1 paid to the average man. Women don’t work 77% as hard as men. We demand 100% of the pay women are owed.
Pay transparency is part of the equation. Evidence shows that pay secrecy widens the wage gap . That is why we fought for pay transparency in Connecticut.
On Equal Pay Day I encouraged more states to join in and close the wage gap.
This Friday is the deadline to apply for Canton Greater Together Community Fund assistance if you have a project that serves residents of Canton. Grant amounts range from $250 to $10,000! Please see the flyer below for more details!
The IRS Free File Program offers eligible taxpayers the opportunity to file their taxes electronically for free. Over 70 percent of taxpayers are eligible to use the service. For more details, please click HERE.
K9 veterans are our four-legged heroes! Today we reflect on their valor, remember those that have passed, and recognize the tireless efforts of active-duty service dogs.


Eleni Kavros DeGraw
State Representative


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